An online poll has found only five percent approve Peter Zumthor’s design for the new Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
The poll was conducted by the Citizens’ Brigade to Save LACMA.
“It is evident that the art- and architecture-loving public finds LACMA’s plans sorely lacking the requisite space to honor the museum’s encyclopedic collection,” said writer and designer Joseph Giovannini, co-chair of the Citizens’ Brigade to Save LACMA. “Counter to LACMA’s closed process, we wanted the public—the taxpayers of Los Angeles County and beyond—to express their opinions about a plan that would decrease exhibition space and create a budget hole for the county at a time when essential services need funds.”
Asked if they thought the existing buildings “should have been preserved” or “renovated, upgraded, and used as the base for an expanded” museum, 50 percent of respondents concurred. Another 35 percent responded they either “did not care if existing buildings are reused” or “prefer a new building” so long as a new LACMA is large enough to contain the collections. Ten percent abstained.
The poll’s respondents were also able to review and vote on the six finalists of the ‘LACMA Not LackMA’ international design competition—three building from the ground up and three integrating existing fabric. There was a tie for the ground-up ideas between Vienna-based Coop Himmelb(l)au’s “LACMA Wing” and Los Angeles-based Paul Murdoch Architects’ “Unified Campus.” “Reimagining/Restructuring” by Kaya Design of London was the clear favorite of those using all or some of the existing buildings. Each of the Peoples’ Choice selections will receive $500.
“The response to the survey shows how invested the public is in the cultural life of Los Angeles,” notes architecture writer Greg Goldin, co-chair of the Citizens’ Brigade. “We are hopeful that the County Board of Supervisors will take this into account and reconsider their monetary support for LACMA’s insufficient and unpopular plan.”